Updated on 09/18/2011 12:16AM

Ebony Breeze, 6, still good as ever

Benoit Photo
Ebony Breeze rallies to win the $157,750 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap on Saturday at Arlington Park.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Posed in the winner's circle after winning the , Ebony Breeze sported a dot of blood on her left front ankle - a flesh wound for an old warrior.

The Chicago BC marked Ebony Breeze's 36th career start, and if the mare was supposed to start losing her grit and fight at age 6, well, somebody forgot to tell her. Sure, with a hot early pace in front of her, the Chicago BC set up like a charm for Ebony Breeze, who won for the 12th time in a career headed toward millionaire status. But Ebony Breeze still had to go out there and do it.

Do it she did, with an assist from a face somewhat unfamiliar to Chicago racetrack patrons, the jockey John Jacinto. Jacinto sat fourth and waited until the pace had begun to wilt in 90-degree heat and a strong breeze, then turned his mare loose in the stretch. Ebony Breeze ($5.80) easily collared the leaders and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths, getting seven furlongs on a fast-playing track in 1:22.02. The one closest to her was Pentelicus Dance, who rallied from last to beat favored Annika Lass for second in a field that scratched from 10 down to seven.

Jacinto, who made his mark on the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas circuit, previously had ridden only twice for trainer Bill Mott, whose Kentucky assistant Kenny McCarthy saddled Ebony Breeze on Saturday, but Jacinto had been aboard for a close third-place finish May 27 in the Winning Colors at Churchill, and McCarthy said the barn had confidence in the rider.

"While she's not the most difficult filly to ride, she does take some patience and coaxing," McCarthy said. "John seemed to get along very well with her."

Silver Crown set forth for the lead from her outside post, but was quickly challenged by a hard-sent Getcozywithkaylee; the opening quarter was moderately fast, 22.06 seconds with a tail-wind, but the half-mile fraction of 44.81 was too taxing. It took its toll not only on the two early leaders, but also Annika Lass, who raced closest to the early front-runners and made her move between horses on the far turn.